Efficient transformation in characteristics of cations supported-reduced graphene oxide nanocomposites for the destruction of trichloroethane

Usman Farooq, Muhammad Danish, Shuguang Lu, Mark L. Brusseau, Muhammmad Naqvi, Xiaro Fu, Xiang Zhang, Qian Sui, Zhaofu Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Experiments were conducted to investigate the use of graphene-oxide supported metallic nanocomposites for improving the degradation of trichloroethane (TCA) by sodium percarbonate (SPC). Two methods of production, chemical reduction (CR) and solvo-thermal (ST), were tested for preparation of single (Fe) and binary (Fe-Cu) nanocomposites supported by reduced graphene oxide (rGO). A variety of analytical techniques including N2 adsorption Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), x-ray diffraction (XRD), fourier-transfrom infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and transmisison electron microscopy (TEM) were applied to characterize the physicochemical and microstructural properties of the synthesized nanocomposites. The characterization indicated that the CR method produced nanocomposites that comprised only mesoporous structure. Conversely, both micro and mesoporous structures were present for samples produced with the ST method. The synthesized single and bimetallic composites produced from the ST method showed higher surface areas, i.e. 93.6 m2/g and 119.2 m2/g as compared to the ones synthesized via the CR method, i.e. 13.8 m2/g and 38.0 m2/g respectively. The results of FTIR and XRD analyses confirmed that the ST method produced highly crystalline nanocomposites. SEM and TEM analysis validated that metallic particles with definite morphology well distributed on the surface of rGO. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis confirmed the homogeneity nanocomposites and occurrence of variation in copper oxidation states during degradation process. EDS mapping validate the homogeneous distribution of Cu and Fe at reduced graphene oxide surface. The Fe-Cu/rGO (ST) activated SPC system effectively degraded TCA (92%) in 2.5 h at low nanocomposite dose compared to the Fe-Cu/rGO (CR) and only Fe, for which the maximum degradation efficiencies achieved were 81% and 34%. In conclusion, excellent catalytic characteristics were observed for the ST-synthesized single and bimetallic (Fe/rGO, Fe-Cu/rGO) catalysts. These catalysts were successful in improving the degradation of TCA via activated SPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
StatePublished - 2017


  • Chemical reduction
  • Graphene supported nanocomposites
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Solvo-thermal
  • TCA degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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